First the knee, then the shoulder, then the other shoulder, now its the talk. After Matt Stafford was injured in Sunday's 'should have been win' against the Bears, the chatter has started. Now analysts and so-called experts feel that Stafford is too "injury-prone" to be a successful franchise QB after his third injury in 11 starts. Some feel that only the hit against Cleveland warrants an injury, but the other hits are just normal shots a QB is going to take. Others say that its just part of being a young QB in this league, and that Troy Aikman and Phil Simms dealt with injuries early on in their careers too. So here's where the debate begins...
To me, Stafford is a warrior. He came back into the Cleveland after suffering a brutal shoulder injury and won the game for us. I don't know another QB in this league that would do that for his team, not even Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Brett Favre, or Drew Brees. However, that doesn't mean he isn't injury-prone. While most feel three serious injuries in 11 starts is a brutal number, I feel that doesn't mean he is injury-prone. Against the Bears last season, Stafford took a brutal hit when he was dragged down from behind. His knee was caught under him and he dislocated it. I think just about any QB that took that hit would dislocate his knee too. This was not just due to Stafford's body not being able to hold up to the hit. Against the Browns, definitely the biggest shot Stafford has taken, he was just rocked by Cleveland's Robaire Smith, a 6,5 310 monster who was coming full-force at Stafford. This hit would take out just about anybody in the league, and Smith even said, "He couldn't believe Stafford came back into the game". One can not even consider this injury as just being "injury-prone". This week, against the Bears, Julius Peppers went almost untouched and sacked Stafford. The 6,7 290 Peppers is one of the most deadly defensive players in the league, and he absolutely rocked Stafford. Some feel that the hit shouldn't have created an injury, but anytime somebody that big and that fast hits you, you're bound to bend something the wrong way. I feel Stafford isn't injury-prone at all, but rather is just susceptible to big hits, being in the wrong position, and miscues by teammates. So what should we do about this when he comes back???
The Lions oline is not good enough to be running 5 blockers alone and going with 3 or 4 wide. If we want to have a successful offense in both keeping our franchise QB healthy, and having a running game, we MUST use our TEs more effectively. Didn't we draft Brandon Pettigrew because he was such a great blocker, and one of the best blocking TEs to come out of college? Yes. Then why did we not use him ONCE to block Julius Peppers? I don't know if Pettigrew pass blocked once that whole game. Our TEs may be the most lethal part of our offense and Linehan only used 50% of their potential against the Bears. Unless we start realizing what we have in our players, and how to be more efficient on offense, I think this team will struggle greatly.
That's just my opinion on it all guys. Lemme know what you think.